While most market breadth measures simply look at new highs or new lows, we make use of every bit of information we can gather looking at each stock that makes up an index individually. We find that waiting for a significant number of stocks to hit new highs almost always translates into missing a significant and actionable part of the recovery.
In the following study we break each of the major averages into their components and then separate them further into quartiles of performance over the last 63 days (quarter in trading days). We find that while the Nasdaq 100 continues to lead the way with 79 of its 103 components in its top quartile (and just 1 in the bottom), the S&P 500 is quickly catching up with 268 of its members now in their top quartile. What we find most reassuring however is that the S&P 400 mid cap index and small cap Russell 2000 indexes, which have been laggards in the recovery, are now showing a significant improvement in market breadth--essential for a continued bull run.